I believe in showing our community the man behind the curtain.

Everything I’ve ever learned about online communities, in particular for technical audiences, comes back to one main point: be authentic, be transparent, be real. Otherwise, you’re just a punter, and the community can smell you out like so many dirty socks, and before you know it you’re relegated to the ignominious hamper of the outcast, unclean.

In that spirit, then, let me be more specific and get to the point of this post.

So what’s this about, this contest I mention in the title? The point is that we want to develop our Influencers Program by encouraging members of the community to blog on business-related themes (System Center or Virt topics selected monthly). You see, if all we do is pump out training content (which members of the Program can find in abundance in our portal) and host LiveMeetings, then we’re just doing same-o, same-o.

The goal is to enable the community to do something. That something is: to take what they know and help others, driving awareness and education that help the business and help those who work with System Center and Virt products and solutions day-in, day-out.

Yes, to participate in the contest you gotta be a member of the Program. But once in, you’ll find a treasure trove of resources to make the task of giving to the community—and doing your own reputation a fair turn—a feasible and even rewarding undertaking. You learn, you synthesize, you give, someone learns, they synthesize, they give—and on and on. A virtuous cycle unfolds. And you started it all.

Check out the overview [PDF] and get familiar with the rules. G’won. All you need to do is sign up in the program, get straight on the rules, consider a given month’s blogging theme, and go for it. Entries will be judged on relevance, volume of posts and attached commentary, uptake and in-linking, and overall influence. Winners get $100.00, recognition on our Web sites, and enhanced reputations in the community.

Is that not, finally, priceless?

- dave //